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HOT: Jocelyn’s Provisions, Centro On James, Shop 8 Cnr James & Doggett Sts, Fortitude Valley

Jocelyn's Provisions Fortitude Valley

Jocelyn’s Provisions is evidence of how a small business providing great products can build such strong brand loyalty that it draws customers in again and again, despite steady price rises.

My relationship with Jocelyn’s Provisions goes back a long way. I first encountered their beautiful wares in the early days of the Powerhouse Farmers Markets – in particular, I lusted after their chocolate and black poppy seed brioche loaf, a deliciously indulgent dark chocolate and butter treat which only cost around $6. I would buy a loaf at every opportunity, even when the prices started creeping up past the $10 mark.

Since then, Jocelyn’s Provisions have become so successful that they’ve given up their market stall and now concentrate on keeping the hoards at bay in their delightfully fragrant store at Centro on James. Sadly, I’m not sure they produce the labour-intensive chocolate and black poppy seed brioche loaf any more as they now focus on just cakes and pastries. Over the years all of the products I’ve tried have been delicious and for that they get a HOT. Up until now my love for my Jocelyn’s Provisions has been unconditional, but now my HOT is tempered by a little gripe about the prices.

Yes yes, I know they are artisanal bakers, not a supermarket. But I regularly haunt artisanal bakeries and in my view sometimes Jocelyn’s Provisions are really over-stretching the loyalty of their customers with their prices. I’ve never heard of any place selling a muffin or friand for $5.50 each, or a single melting moment biscuit for $4.20. Fortunately, they still produce their best value item, the mini bar cakes ($8.50) which can easily feed 4-6 people with a nice cup of tea.

I visit Jocelyn’s Provisions every few months, and every time I experience a little jolt with the climbing prices. I’ll be interested to see whether their customers ever get squeezed to breaking point. I for one will not be buying another fruit-filled, but ultimately nothing special, over-priced muffin from them again. I’m sticking with their caramel and pear bar cake.

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